European Commission logo
Energy, Climate change, Environment

Map of the Week – Aquaculture

News article |

Aquaculture is a significant activity in many European Union (EU) Member States, producing around 1.2 million tonnes in sales volume and €4.1 billion in turnover in 2018. [1] The EU aquaculture sector has three main production sectors: marine fish, shellfish and freshwater fish production. Aquaculture also involves the production of macroalgae and microalgae. In addition, the cultivation and harvesting of less exploited groups of organisms (e.g. sea urchins or sea stars) is also being researched as a means to reduce the pressure on natural resources in specific areas, and to increase the diversification of aquaculture. However, these activities are still at a very early stage of development in Europe.  [2]

Strategic guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture for the period 2021 to 2030 have been developed to respond to calls in the Farm to Fork strategy to accelerate the transition to a sustainable EU food system. They aim to [3]:

  • build resilience and competitiveness of the EU aquaculture sector;
  • ensure the participation of the EU aquaculture sector in the green transition;
  • foster social acceptance and improved consumer information on EU aquaculture activities and products; and
  • increase knowledge and innovation in the EU aquaculture sector.

The guidelines highlight that collecting accurate data is necessary to ensure the appropriate planning of aquaculture activities and to assess and monitor the social, economic and environmental performance of the EU’s aquaculture sector. The European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) plays a key role in making data available.

Wish to know more?

  • Dive into the Map of the week to learn about aquaculture production by country in the EU. To view how production has evolved over the past years in the Member States, click on each country.
  • Watch the EMODnet video to learn how EMODnet is providing open data and information to support the aquaculture sector.
  • Watch the latest Euronews Ocean episode to discover the potential of innovative aquaculture to restore endangered marine ecosystems, produce traditional local seafood and provide valuable scientific material for cancer studies. [4]

Access the map

The data in this map are provided by Eurostat.